CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) TIMELINE

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Baker County reported its highest one-day total of new COVID-19 cases in two months on Monday, June 21, with 12 cases. Read more

Community Connection of Baker City is making preparations to reopen the Senior Center and welcome people back for in-person lunches and other events that have been canceled for more than a year due to the pandemic. Read more

Baker County’s rate of new COVID-19 cases has risen during the first two weeks of June, but infections remain well below the average for the previous six months. Read more

Baker County’s first COVID-19 testing clinic since early January brought 18 people to a parking lot across from the Baker County Health Department on Thursday, June 3. Read more

Baker County had another relatively quiet weekend on the COVID-19 front, with one new case on Saturday and no cases on Friday or Sunday. Read more

Jason Yencopal concedes that it seems a bit unusual for Baker County officials to urge residents who feel fine to be tested for COVID-19. Read more

Visitors to the Baker County Library District’s locations will have to wait a bit longer to browse for books without wearing a face mask, regardless of their vaccination status. Read more

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Shane Cunningham pondered the COVID-19 vaccines long before he was eligible to get one. Read more

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With its COVID-19 case rate dropping by more than half during May, Baker County returned to the lowest of the state’s risk levels today, May 27. Read more

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With its COVID-19 case rate dropping to the lowest level in more than six months, Baker County appears to be on pace to return to the state’s lowest risk level, which would double indoor dining capacity at restaurants at the start of Memorial Day weekend. Read more

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Baker County’s rate of COVID-19 cases has dropped by more than half during May compared with April. Read more

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The Baker School District will no longer require students to wear face masks for outdoor activities, including PE classes, recesses and sports. Read more

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A 74-year-old man from Baker County who died May 15 at St. Luke's Medical Center in the Boise is the 15th county resident to die after testing positive for COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority reported today, May 20. Read more

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Although the rate of new COVID-19 cases in Baker County has dropped to its lowest level in more than three months, the county will remain at the high risk level at least through May 27, Baker County Commissioner Mark Bennett said Wednesday, May 19. Read more

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Davey Peterson said he and his wife, Alyssa, were initially excited about the potential benefits to their Baker City business when federal and state officials announced on May 13 that fully vaccinated people needn’t wear masks in most settings. Read more

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Although both federal and state officials have said fully vaccinated people needn’t wear masks or socially distance in most situations, Oregon schools will continue to require students, staff and visitors to follow those guidelines for the few remaining weeks in the school year. Read more

Sarah Plummer, a 17-year-old junior at Baker High School, had no qualms about getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more

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Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday, May 11 that counties can qualify to ease COVID-19 restrictions on businesses starting next week if they vaccinate enough residents, but Baker County is far short of the threshold. Read more

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Gov Kate Brown laid out some basic math on Tuesday for Oregon residents hoping for as near a “normal” as possible. Vaccination = vacation. Read more

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Restaurants and bars in Baker County can resume limited indoor dining on Friday, May 7, as the county drops from extreme to high risk level. Read more

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A large majority of COVID-19 cases in Baker County over the past two weeks or so were people younger than 40, a significant increase from the rate of cases in that age range earlier this spring.

For the period April 15-30, almost 71% of the county’s 78 new cases were people 39 or younger, according to the Baker County Health Department.

For the period March 23 through April 2, that age group accounted for just 28% of the county’s cases.

Starting in early April the number of cases in county residents younger than 40 began to rise.

From April 3-21, that group had 55% of the new cases.

Meanwhile the number of cases among people 70 and older — the group most likely to become severely ill or to die — has plummeted.

Of Oregon’s 2,508 deaths attributed to COVID-19 during the pandemic, almost 76% were 70 or older. In Baker County, 13 of the 14 people who died after testing positive for the virus were 70 or older (the one exception is a 59-year-old man who died on Feb. 2).

The 70-and-older age group accounted for 17.5% of Baker County’s new cases from March 23 to April 2. The group’s share dropped to 9.9% from April 3-21, and to just under 2% from April 15-30.

During the latter period there were no cases in the county among residents 80 and older, said Holly Kerns, a public information officer for the county.

Total cases includes people who tested positive for COVID-19 as well as presumptive cases — people who had symptoms consistent with the virus and were in close contact with someone who tested positive but haven’t tested positive themselves. The county does not list positive tests and presumptive cases separately.

The 70-plus age group also has the highest vaccination rate in Baker County, with about 65% of county residents in that group fully or partially vaccinated, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Although vaccination rates for county residents younger than 40 aren’t available, the total number of residents in that age group who are partially or fully vaccinated is 777. That’s 13.7% of the total people vaccinated in the county.

Younger residents, with the exception of health care workers, first responders, teachers and other school employees and some other groups, weren’t eligible to be vaccinated for most of the winter.

Everyone 16 and older is now eligible.

The largest increase in new cases in Baker County since April 15 was among people in their 20s. That group, which accounted for 4.4% of cases from April 3-21, jumped to 21.6% from April 15-30.

That was the second-highest percentage of any group during the period, behind only people in their 30s, who totaled 25.5% of the county’s cases. Read more

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With Baker County’s weekly total of COVID-19 cases dropping to its lowest level in more than a month, County Commissioner Mark Bennett said he hopes the county will drop from extreme risk level starting this Friday, May 7. Read more

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The Baker County Health Department has hundreds more doses of COVID-19 vaccine than it has residents interested in being inoculated. Read more

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Baker County Commissioner Mark Bennett and the county’s two state legislators have signed separate letters criticizing Gov. Kate Brown’s decision to ban indoor dining in Baker County and 14 other counties starting Friday, April 30 due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Read more

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Baker County will move to the extreme risk level under state COVID-19 guidelines on Friday, April 30, and stay there for at least one week. Read more

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Baker County has a “slim” chance to avoid moving into the extreme risk level this Friday, April 30, but County Commissioner Mark Bennett doesn’t yet know how small that opportunity will be. Read more

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A group of Baker County employees and volunteers were prepared to help more than 1,100 people get their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, April 24 at the Fairgrounds. Read more

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A sharp increase in COVID-19 cases could push at least 12 Oregon counties, including Baker, into the extreme risk level April 30, requiring the most severe restrictions the state can impose on businesses and activities, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday, April 23. Read more

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Almost half of Baker County’s COVID-19 cases during the past month, when the case rate more than tripled, are people younger than 50, the age range with much lower vaccination rates compared with older residents. Read more

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After a two-week reprieve, Baker County’s recent increase in COVID-19 cases will result in more severe restrictions on some businesses and events starting Friday, April 23. Read more

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Baker County's risk level under Oregon's COVID-19 guidelines will risk from the lowest risk level to high risk starting Friday, April 23, and remain there through at least May 6, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday afternoon. Read more

A 71-year-old Baker County woman who died on Wednesday, April 14 at a Boise hospital is the 14th county resident to die after testing positive for COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported. Read more

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Students in the North Powder School District will take classes online through April 22 because as many as 30 students were potentially exposed to COVID-19. Read more

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A 71-year-old Baker County woman who died on Wednesday, April 14 at a Boise hospital is the 14th county resident to die after testing positive for COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority reported today. Read more

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Baker County’s COVID-19 surge continued on Tuesday, April 13 with 14 new cases, the highest one-day total since late December, and the third-most in any day during the pandemic. Read more

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The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has asked all of the state’s vaccine providers to immediately stop administering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, per the announcement from the U.S. CDC and FDA this morning. This is out of an abundance of caution as they review six cases of a rare and sever… Read more

A student at the Baker School District’s Baker Early Learning Center, which has preschool and kindergarten classrooms, has tested positive for COVID-19, the school district announced Sunday, April 11. Read more

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The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has fixed an error in its system for reporting county-level COVID-19 vaccination numbers, and the correction had a big effect on Baker County, whose inflated numbers prompted the agency to look at the situation in late March. Read more

One of Baker County’s major summer events — three of them, actually — are slated to return in 2021 after being casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Read more

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A 75-year-old Baker City man who died on April 3 is the 13th county resident to die after testing positive for COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported Friday, April 9.The man, who had underlying medical conditions, tested positive on March 24. He died at his home, according to the OHA. Read more

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A fourth employee at Brooklyn Primary School has tested positive for COVID-19, the Baker School District reported this morning. Read more

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The Baker School District on Wednesday, April 7 confirmed what it had had been planning, and expected to happen — students in grades 7 through 12 will return to full in-person classes on Monday, April 12. Read more

One employee and two substitute teachers at Brooklyn Primary School tested positive for COVID-19, and all three contracted the virus outside of school, the Baker School District announced on Friday, April 2. Read more

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A recent change to Oregon’s COVID-19 risk level system should allow Baker County to remain at the lowest level, with the least severe restrictions, through most of April even though the county’s case rate has nearly tripled in the past two weeks. Read more

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The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) estimates that its website had recently exaggerated by about 50% the number of Baker County residents who have been partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more

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The Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally, one of Baker City’s biggest annual events, will be a two-time casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

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Chelsea Hurliman is eager for Baker High School students to return to a four-day week and remain in their classrooms all day except when they are called away for extracurricular activities. Read more

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The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered all sorts of events, but American Red Cross blood drives in Baker City aren’t among them. Read more

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About 450 Baker County residents had their second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Friday during the Baker County Health Department’s third major clinic at Baker High School. Read more

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Baker County’s rate of new COVID-19 cases has risen over the past week or so to the highest level in more than two months. Read more

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The air inside the Baker County Library District’s main branch in Baker City has never been cleaner, Ed Adamson says, his pride palpable even though most of the particles that are no longer wafting about were never visible to the naked eye. Read more

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For the second straight year, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the cancellation of the Easter egg hunt in Geiser-Pollman Park. Read more

The Baker City Council has approved a resolution blaming Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 mandates for creating an “economic, mental health, and criminal activity crisis” in the city. Read more

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Baker County is doing well, compared with Oregon’s 35 other counties, in vaccinating its residents against COVID-19. Read more

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Baker School District students in Grades 7-12 will be returning to classes four days a week beginning April 12 if all goes as planned in the next few weeks. Read more

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Baker County will return to the lowest risk level for COVID-19 spread on Friday, March 26, after being at the moderate risk level since March 12. Read more

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The Baker City Council on Tuesday evening, March 23 will consider approving a resolution declaring an “economic, mental health and criminal activity crisis” resulting from Oregon COVID-19 mandates that the resolution deems “arbitrary, ineffective, and draconian.” Read more

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Baker County will receive $3.13 million, and Baker City $2 million, from the federal COVID-19 aid bill that President Joe Biden signed last week. Read more

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The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported today that an 81-year-old man in Baker County died on March 11, three days after testing positive for COVID-19. Read more

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Baker County had the biggest day of its COVID-19 vaccination effort on Friday, March 12. Read more

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An 85-year-old Baker County man who died on March 6 at his home was the 11th county resident to die after testing positive for COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported on Thursday, March 11. Read more

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Nick Cripe found himself with some extra time between jobs as a firefighter and paramedic. Read more

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Another Baker County residents has died after testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the county's death toll during the pandemic to 11. Read more

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Baker County’s COVID-19 risk level rises by one, from lowest to moderate, on Friday, March 12, but the effects on restaurants and bars, and other businesses and activities, are relatively minor. Read more

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A 64-year-old Baker County woman died March 7 after testing positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 18, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced on Tuesday, March 9. Read more

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Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, Baker County will move from the lowest of Oregon's four risk levels to the second-lowest starting Friday, March 12. Read more

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A 64-year-old Baker County woman who died March 7 at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise is the 10th county resident to die after testing positive for COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority announced today. Read more

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The Class 1A state tournaments don’t just bring exciting basketball to Baker City. Read more

The Baker High School gymnasium, normally a bustling place throughout the winter, has been placid the past few months. Read more

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Kathy Taylor is supposed to be exhausted right now. Read more

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Fifteen cases of COVID-19 have been reported at Settler’s Park memory care community in Baker City. Read more

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Two Baker County residents died on Feb. 26, two days after testing positive for COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced on Tuesday, March 2. Read more

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Two more Baker County residents have died from COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced today, March 2. Read more

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Becky and Bruce Litke were excited at the prospect that a brief pinprick will lead to them seeing their grandchildren and great-grandchildren again. Read more

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The Baker High School volleyball team has a lot to get used to during a season first postponed, and now shortened, by the pandemic. Read more

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Terry McQuisten will welcome moviegoers back to the Eltrym Theater on March 5 — the 13th anniversary of when she and her husband, Dan, purchased the business. Read more

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Under the glow of the stadium lights, the Baker Bulldog football players are doing something they haven’t done in well over a year. Read more

After a five-week decline in COVID-19 cases that dropped Baker County into the state’s lowest risk level starting Feb. 12, the case rate is rising again. Read more

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Baker County should stay in the lowest risk category under the state’s COVID-19 guidelines through at least the second week of March, County Commissioner Mark Bennett said on Saturday, Feb. 20. Read more

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A modest rise in Baker County’s rate of COVID-19 cases this week has pushed the county close to moving up one level on the state’s risk level starting Feb. 26. Read more

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Baker County is on pace to remain in the lowest risk category for COVID-19 spread, with the least-stringent restrictions on businesses and activities, into the second week of March. Read more

Vaccinating the county’s older citizens against COVID-19 is foremost on the minds of most Baker County residents these days. Read more

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Lori Brock figures she’s given about 125 COVID-19 vaccinations, but the arm she’s preparing to pierce is like no other. Read more

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Despite snow showers and temperatures hovering around 20 degrees, 300 Baker County residents, most of them age 80 or older, received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine Friday morning, Feb. 12 at Baker High School. Read more

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Liz White’s restaurant was better positioned than some to endure COVID-19 restrictions, but she’s still excited that those limits will ease in Baker County starting on Friday, Feb. 12. Read more

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Baker County will drop to the lowest risk level for COVID-19 spread — and be subject to the least stringent state restrictions on businesses and other activities — starting Friday, Feb. 12. Read more

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The COVID-19 outbreak at Powder River Correctional Facility in Baker City has slowed considerably over the past two weeks, and an official at the minimum-security prison said she’s pleased with the trend. Read more

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Theresa Ball hated to type the words announcing that her Baker City business, Chill’z frozen yogurt, would no longer be serving sweet treats. Read more

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Two Baker Middle School students and one teacher have been quarantined this week after one of the students tested positive for COVID-19. Read more

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More than 500 Baker County residents age 80 and older could be vaccinated for COVID-19 over the next week or so. Read more

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In its first 30 minutes or so, Baker County's COVID-19 vaccine call center fielded more than 300 calls from residents who wanted to have their name added to a waiting list to receive a vaccination. Read more

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Baker County dropped from the extreme-risk level under the state’s COVID-19 guidelines to high risk on Friday, Feb. 5, Baker County Commissioner Mark Bennett said. Read more

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For the second straight day, the Oregon Health Authority has reported a COVID-19-related death of a Baker County resident, the seventh since the pandemic started in March 2020. Read more

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Baker County’s COVID-19 death toll stands at six, after a 59-year-old man died on Feb. 1, the Oregon Health Authority announced Wednesday, Feb. 3. Read more

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Baker County’s COVID-19 vaccination effort will expand next week when the Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies are slated to each receive about 100 doses. Read more

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Baker County Commissioner Mark Bennett and other county officials are trying to ensure that the county’s significant decline in new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks results in an easing of restrictions on local businesses and other activities. Read more

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The director of Baker County’s Health Department is optimistic that the county will be ready to start COVID-19 vaccinations for county residents 80 and older the second week of February. Read more

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Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday ordered 32,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines redirected to the Portland area instead of going to other parts of the state. Read more

Baker County’s current slowdown in new COVID-19 cases started too late to spare the county from two more weeks subject to the state’s tightest restrictions on businesses and other activities. Read more

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday afternoon that Baker County will remain in the extreme-risk category for the spread of COVID-19 through at least Feb. 11. Read more